Where is hot in October
* Where to find sunshine in the Mediterranean
* Best holiday deals on flights under 6 hours
October sees the arrival of autumn in the UK – but it’s a great time to head overseas for some late Mediterranean sunshine at bargain-basement prices.
Most of the Mediterranean is sunny throughout October and the sea remains warm enough for swimming. This is especially true if you head to the south of the Med. In addition, you are almost guaranteed some outstanding end-of-season bargains. If, however, your idea of good weather is blast-furnace heat, you will need to fly long-haul, spending at least six hours on a plane.
This is our newly-updated guide to where’s hot in October. If you are planning to travel with school-age children, please see our editors’ recommendations for family holidays in October half term. If you’re travelling alone, see the best singles holidays in October.
Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.
Short haul (under 4 hours flying time)
Just because a resort is in the Mediterranean, doesn’t mean it will be hot throughout October. You need to head south for the best of the weather. Turkey is a good option: temperatures on the Aegean Coast are not as high as in July and August, staying comfortably in the mid-20s. Generally, it is warm enough to sunbathe in the daytime but cools down in the evening so you’ll want to pack a cardigan or light jacket.
Crete is the most southerly of the Greek islands and you can expect long sunny days throughout October. Try i-escape which has a great selection of small hotels and guest houses in beautiful locations. Or you could fly to North Cyprus where temperatures average 27°C. With pretty resorts like Kyrenia and Famagusta, this destination is good value because it lies outside the Eurozone, using the Turkish Lira.
Sicily is a great place to visit in October because it’s not just about beaches (though these are lovely). With lots of sunshine and temperatures around 23°C, conditions are perfect for renting a car and visiting the medieval port of Syracuse and the charming town of Taormina which is set against the backdrop of Mount Etna.
Many cities are at their best in September and October and with few visitors, hotels tend to drop their rates significantly. Best city break destinations if you want some sunshine include Palma in Majorca, Dubrovnik in Croatia and Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
The Spanish region of Andalucia is best to visit in spring or autumn – in July and August it can be too hot to do anything other than lie beside a pool. In October you can explore the handsome cities of Seville and Granada, with temperatures around 26°C.
See more ideas for city breaks in October.
I also love the French island of Corsica for its white-sand beaches, rugged mountains and great food. There’s a great selection of apartments and villas with private pools and you can often find special offers this late in the season.
Less than four hours flying time from the UK, Marrakech offers lovely dry desert sunshine and temperatures of around 27°C. It’s a beautiful spot for sightseeing and shopping.
There are direct flights from Gatwick to the Azores where you can expect temperatures of 24ºC temperature. The volcanic islands have great beaches and it’s one of the best places in Europe for spotting whale and dolphins. You could take a Three Island Tour in one week, or focus on walking or cycling or whale and dolphin watching.
If you don’t want to head abroad, there’s a very good chance of sunny weather in Jersey where we recommend The Atlantic Hotel, which has gorgeous sea views and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Mid haul (under 7 hours flying time)
October is one of the best months to visit Jordan: the 25°C temperatures are ideal for sightseeing and desert adventures and it’s only a five-hour flight from Britain. If you’ve never visited the rock-carved city of Petra, this is a great time to go.
October is the perfect time of year to discover the riches of ancient Egypt. In the capital Cairo you can expect highs of 29°C falling at night to 18°C. Flying time from the UK is five hours. Take a trip to the pyramids and a cruise down the Nile.
The Gambia is just a six-hour flight from London or Manchester and makes for one of the best-value beach holidays in October. This small West African country has friendly English-speaking people and a great range of accommodation including luxury all-inclusives and the popular good-value Kombo Beach, where I stayed last winter with my family. Average temperature in October is 32°C with eight hours of daily sunshine. View the latest special offers.
It is only six hours flying time to the Arabian Gulf where hot weather in October is certain. Temperatures hover around 29°C, occasionally hitting 35°C, perfect for lazing on the beach. We recommend Abu Dhabi where you’ll find stunning hotels on white sand beaches, desert safaris, glamorous shopping malls and Yas Island, home to Ferrari World, Waterworld, a Formula 1 track and the world’s fastest roller coaster. See the latest special offers.
Another popular option is the Canary Islands, just four hours flying time from the UK. Average temperatures of 23°C with eight hours of sunshine make this a great-value choice in October. Try an upmarket hotel in Tenerife, or a villa in Lanzarote. For something quieter, explore one of the less touristic islands such as La Gomera or La Palma.
Long haul (over 7 hours flying time)
October is generally a good time to go to Africa, particularly if you are looking to combine safari and beach. Kenya is the classic destination where you can start with the Big Five in the Masai Mara followed by a lazy few days on the Indian Ocean coast around Mombasa, where temperatures typically reach 30°C.
October is the dry season in Botswana, making it a prime time for big game spotting – the lack of rain means that animals gather around watering holes, guaranteeing spectacular sightings.
It’s spring time in South Africa where Cape Town is a very pleasant 22°C. In the east, Johannesburg and Durban are in the high 20s. This is a great time of year to visit Kruger National Park or if you’re tempted by vast empty deserts, sand dunes and national parks, go a little further north into Namibia.
In the Indian Ocean, October is a good time to visit Mauritius. The island is home to many world-class luxury hotels, and the climate is pretty good too: temperatures of around 27°C with eight daily hours of sunshine.
The rainy season is ending in the Maldives, where you can expect temperatures of 29°C and seven hours of sunshine. If you love nature, but also crave some pampering, take a look at Madagascar which has fabulous beaches and unique nature experiences.
First-time visitors to India should head for the Golden Triangle in the royal state of Rajasthan – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – temperatures are high at around 33°C but it’s a dry desert heat, so it’s not humid. I recommend TransIndus which has a wide choice of private tours.
October is also an excellent time of year to visit Sri Lanka. It’s just coming up to the high season but still at low season prices. Rather than choose between a beach holiday and a tour, you can combine the two: spend a week visiting Buddhist temples, sacred rocks, national parks and the elephant orphanage, then unwind with a few days on the coast.
This is also a good time to be in Vietnam which has fast emerged as one of the world’s most exciting destinations, particularly if you love modern history, ancient culture, street food, shopping and luxury hotels.
In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is putting on its glad rags for the 2016 Olympics. Things will have calmed down by October making it a great time to visit this great city, and you can easily combine it with trips to the beach and the falls at Iguassu. For holidays in Brazil, we recommend Dehouche.
Head to America
October is a great month to visit America, according to Mike Gerrard and Donna Dailey, editors of 101 USA Holidays. You’ll find warm temperatures in the Mid West, California and the South, plus it’s peak “leaf peeping” season in New England where you could take this classic fly-drive tour.
If you’re aged between 18 and 38, Mike and Donna recommend TrekAmerica which has thrilling group tours to some of America’s greatest sights including a two-week camping itinerary that takes in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon.
You’ll enjoy the rich colours of the Fall foliage on a fly-drive tour of Virginia or New York State – or by retracing the Civil War route. In California, you could hit the road in a convertible, or rent a motorhome.
See Mike and Donna’s full pick of 101 USA Holidays.
Last updated: 17 July 2016
>> Find more ideas for holidays in October, and top tips for making the most of your half-term. You may also like to visit our sister site, which has expert recommendations on the best October honeymoons.